Mountaineers highlight day leads to largest victory of the season

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Senior wide receiver Jaquil Capel scores a touchdown that went under review.

Tyler Hotz

Entering Saturday’s game against Sun Belt opponent Texas State, the Mountaineers football team had only given up 32 points in their previous four contests combined, and the narrative of an impressive App State defense held true once again.

Allowing only 10 points on the afternoon, the Mountaineers (7-2, 5-0 Sun Belt) locked down Texas State (2-6, 0-4 Sun Belt), holding them to only three yards per play leading to a 35-10 win.

Starting off the game strong, the Bobcats capped off a 13-play drive with a 25-yard field goal to take an early 3-0 lead. After the score, they were forced to four straight three-and-outs, allowing the Mountaineers to jump out to a 21-3 lead and not look back.

“We got those three-and-outs and went down and scored some points, and all of a sudden now it starts snowballing,” head coach Scott Satterfield said. “Everybody starts feeding off each other when that happens, and that’s big for them to get off the field.”

Breaking free for 37-yards, senior running back Marcus Cox raced down the left sideline for his fifth rushing touchdown of the season, putting the Mountaineers up 7-3 with 4:50 left in the first quarter.

Senior running back Marcus Cox runs into the end zone for a touchdown against Texas State.
Senior running back Marcus Cox runs into the end zone for a touchdown against Texas State.

Finding success on the ground, the Apps were able to run for over 300-yards with sophomore running back Jalin Moore and Cox both running for over 100 yards for the second straight week.

With Cox fully recovered from an injury earlier in the season, the Mountaineers have been rotating Cox and Moore between possessions, which has made them tough to handle for opposing defenses.

“Before, we had Jalin [Moore] carrying the ball 30 times per game and that wears him out and then he’s not as healthy,” Satterfield said. “Now, we are rotating these guys every other series and they are feeling just as fresh at the end of the game at the beginning, and they’re getting good production.”

After another quick three-and-out by the Bobcats, the Apps embarked on a 70-yard drive that ended in an eight-yard touchdown reception by sophomore wideout Jaylan Barbour, which was his first in a Mountaineer uniform.

Sophomore wide receiver Jaylan Barbour scores his first career touchdown.
Sophomore wide receiver Jaylan Barbour scores his first career touchdown.

Quickly following the touchdown by Barbour, junior linebacker Eric Boggs picked off Bobcats quarterback Tyler Jones’s pass on the third play of the ensuing drive, setting up the Mountaineers at the Bobcat 27-yard line. The interception was the team’s 16th, which leads the Sun Belt and sits near the top of the nation.

Emulating Barbour, senior wide receiver Jaquil Capel also found the endzone for the first time in his career on a 31-yard pass from junior quarterback Taylor Lamb, putting the Mountaineers up three scores with 7:09 left in the half.

Capel was ruled down at the one-yard line, but after review, his first career touchdown was confirmed as he hit the pylon before being forced out of bounds.

“After scoring a lot of touchdowns in high school, it has been aggravating [not scoring one until now in college],” Capel said. “Earlier in the season, I was trying and trying to get in, when I finally caught it and saw I had a chance, I tried to dive and hit the pylon.”

Finishing off the trio who scored their first career touchdowns, freshman wide receiver Mock Adams was able to find some space in the left corner of the endzone, collecting a six-yard pass from Lamb after the quarterback evaded pressure.

Senior wide receiver Jaquil Capel celebrates after his touchdown is called in by the referees.
Senior wide receiver Jaquil Capel celebrates after his touchdown is called in by the referees.

“If the play breaks down, then you have to have time to get out of the pocket and make a play,” Lamb said. “We have been working on that in scramble drills just trying to get guys open, and guys did a good job of getting open and coming back to the ball.”

Adams’s touchdown stretched the App State lead out to 28-3 entering the half, but the Bobcats would not go quietly.

Following a blocked punt on Bentlee Critcher early in the third quarter, they cashed in on a blocked punt with a one-yard touchdown run by Stedman Mayberry. The rushing touchdown was the first one the Apps have given up since their final non-conference game against Akron.

Responding the next drive, the Apps would stretch out the lead to its final score, on a three-yard touchdown pass to senior tight end Barrett Burns, which was his second of the season.

“We intentionally got the tight ends involved today,” Satterfield said. “I do not think that we have done as good of a job in the red zone as we did last year throwing the football, and we were able to complete a lot of those for touchdowns last year and it was nice today to be able to throw the ball well in the end zone.”

Dominating on the defensive side of the ball, the Apps held the Bobcats to only 14-yards on the ground on 28 attempts. With a team that came in second to last in the country in rushing yards per game, the Mountaineers made it important to shut down the running game early.

Freshman wide receiver Mock Adams is congratulated by teammates after his touchdown.
Freshman wide receiver Mock Adams is congratulated by teammates after his touchdown.

“One thing about us is that Coach [Nate] Woody stresses stop the run first, and if you can stop the run, then you can worry about the pass and win the game,” senior linebacker Kennan Gilchrist, who finished with two sacks, said. “If we stop the run, we are going to be a good team.”

The Apps now have only given up 42 points in five conference games. With a tough matchup on the road at Troy next week, the App State defense knows they will have to continue their success in order to get a crucial conference win.

“They are a good team this year as well, and I haven’t seen much film on them because we take games one at a time,” senior linebacker John Law said. “It has been a game that I don’t want to say we have had circled but ever since we have been playing in conference we knew it was game that was coming, and we are looking forward to the challenge.”

Story By: Tyler Hotz, Sports Reporter

Photos By: Dallas Linger, Photo Editor